GRE word study for the visual learner - picture dictionary of GRE words. Click on the alphabetical list to see the complete list of words.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Abate . subside , or moderate
Aberrant . abnormal, or deviant
Abeyance . suspended action
Abscond . depart secretly and hide
Abstemious . sparing in eating and drinking; temperate
Admonish . warn; reprove
Adulterate . make impure by adding inferior or tainted substances
Aesthetic . artistic; dealing with or capable of appreciating the beautiful
Aggregate . gather; accumulate
Alacrity . cheerful promptness; eagerness
Alleviate . relieve
Amalgamate . combine; unite in one body
Ambiguous . unclear or doubtful in meaning
Ambivalence . the state of having contradictory or conflicting emotional attitudes
Ameliorate . improve
Anachronism . something or someone misplaced in time
Analogous . comparable
Anarchy . absence of governing body; state of disorder
Anomalous . abnormal; irregular
Antipathy . aversion; dislike
Apathy . lack of caring; indifference
Appease . pacify or soothe; relieve
Apprise . inform
Approbation . approval
Appropriate . v. acquire; take possession of for one’s own use
Arduous . hard; strenuous
Artless . without guile; open and honest
Ascetic . practicing self-denial; austere
Assiduous . diligent
Assuage . v. ease or lessen (pain); satisfy (hunger); soothe (anger)
Attenuate . make thinner
Audacious . daring; bold
Austere . forbiddingly stern; severely simple and unornamented
Autonomous . self-governing; independent
Aver . assert confidently or declare; as used in law, state formally as a fact

Banal . hackneyed; commonplace; trite; lacking originality
Belie . contradict; give a false impression
Beneficent . kindly; doing good
Bolster . support; reinforce
Bombastic . pompous; using inflated language
Boorish . rude; insensitive
Burgeon . grow forth; send out buds
Burnish . make shiny by rubbing; polish
Buttress . v. support; prop up

Capricious . unpredictable; fickle
Castigation . punishment; severe criticism
Catalyst . agent that increases the pace of a chemical action
Caustic . burning; sarcastically biting
Chicanery . trickery; deception
Coagulate . thicken; congeal; clot
Coda . concluding section of a musical or literary composition; summarizes or concludes
Cogent . convincing
Commensurate . adj. corresponding in extent, degree, etc.; proportionate
Compendium . brief, comprehensive summary
Complaisant . trying to please; overly polite; obliging
Compliant . yielding; conforming to requirements
Conciliatory . reconciling; soothing
Condone . overlook; forgive; give tacit approval; excuse
Confound . confuse; puzzle
Connoisseur . person competent to act as a judge of art; a lover of art
Contention . claim; thesis
Contentious . quarrelsome
Contrite . penitent
Conundrum . riddle; difficult problem
Converge . approach; tend to meet; come together
Convoluted . coiled around; involved; intricate
Craven . cowardly

Daunt . intimidate; frighten
Decorum . propriety; orderliness and good taste in manners
Default . failure to act
Deference . courteous regard for another’s wishes
Delineate . portray; depict; sketch
Denigrate . blacken
Deride . ridicule; make fun of
Derivative . unoriginal; obtained from another source
Desiccate . dry up
Desultory . aimless; haphazard; digressing at random
Deterrent Something that discourages; hindrance
Diatribe . n. bitter scolding; invective
Dichotomy . split; branching into two parts (especially contradictory ones)
Diffidence . Shyness
Diffuse . adj. wordy, rambling, spread out (like a gas)
Digression . Wandering away from the subject
Dirge . Lament with music
Disabuse . correct a false impression; undeceive
Discerning . mentally quick and observant; having insight
Discordant . not harmonious; conflicting
Discredit . defame; destroy confidence in; disbelieve
Discrepancy . lack of consistency; difference
Discrete . adj. separate; unconnected; consisting of distinct parts
Disingenuous . lacking genuine candor; insincere
Disinterested . unprejudiced
Disjointed . lacking coherence; separated at the joints
Dismiss . eliminate from consideration; reject
Disparage . belittle
Disparate . adj. basically different; unrelated
Dissemble . v. disguise; pretend
Disseminate . distribute; spread; scatter (like seeds)
Dissolution . disintegration; looseness in morals
Dissonance . discord; opposite of harmony
Distend . expand; swell out
Distill . purify; refine; concentrate
Diverge . vary; go in different directions from the same point
Divest . strip; deprive
Document . provide written evidence
Dogmatic . opinionated; arbitrary; doctrinal
Dormant . sleeping; lethargic; latent
Dupe . someone easily fooled

Ebullient . showing excitement; overflowing with enthusiasm
Eclectic . selective; composed of elements drawn from disparate sources
Efficacy . power to produce desired effect
Effrontery . impudence; shameless boldness; sheer nerve; presumptuousness
Elegy . poem or song expressing lamentation
Elicit . draw out by discussion
Embellish . adorn; ornament; enhance, as a story
Empirical . based on experience
Emulate . imitate; rival
Endemic . prevailing among a specific group of people or in a specific area or country
Enervate . weaken
Engender . cause; produce
Enhance . increase; improve
Ephemeral . short-lived; fleeting
Equanimity . calmness of temperament; composure
Equivocate . lie; mislead; attempt to conceal the truth
Erudite . learned; scholarly
Esoteric . hard to understand; known only to the chosen few
Eulogy . expression of praise, often on the occasion of someone’s death
Euphemism . mild expression in place of an unpleasant one
Exacerbate . worsen; embitter
Exculpate . clear from blame
Exigency . urgent situation; pressing needs or demands; state of requiring immediate attention
Extrapolation . projection; conjecture

Facetious . joking (often inappropriately); humorous
Facilitate . help bring about; make less difficult
Fallacious . false; misleading
Fatuous . brainless; inane; foolish, yet smug
Fawning . trying to please by behaving obsequiously, flattering, or cringing
Felicitous . apt; suitably expressed; well chosen
Fervor . glowing ardor; intensity of feeling
Flag . droop; grow feeble
Fledgling . inexperienced
Flout . reject; mock; show contempt for
Foment . stir up; instigate
Forestall . prevent by taking action in advance
Frugality . thrift; economy
Futile . useless; hopeless; ineffectual

Gainsay . deny
Garrulous . loquacious; talkative; wordy
Goad . urge on
Gouge . overcharge
Grandiloquent . pompous; bombastic; using high-sounding language
Gregarious . sociable
Guileless . without deceit
Gullible . easily deceived

Harangue . long, passionate, and vehement speech
Homogeneous . of the same kind
Hyperbole . exaggeration; overstatement

Iconoclastic . attacking cherished traditions
Idolatry . worship of idols; excessive admiration
Immutable . unchangeable
Impair . injure; hurt
Impassive . without feeling; imperturbable; stoical
Impede . hinder; block
Impermeable . impervious; not permitting passage through its substance
Imperturbable . calm; placid
Impervious . impenetrable; incapable of being damaged or distressed
Implacable . incapable of being pacified
Implicit . understood but not stated
Implode . burst inward
Inadvertently . unintentionally; by oversight; carelessly
Inchoate . adj. recently begun; rudimentary; elementary
Incongruity . lack of harmony; absurdity
Inconsequential . insignificant; unimportant
Incorporate . introduce something into a larger whole; combine; unite
Indeterminate . uncertain; not clearly fixed; indefinite
Indigence . poverty
Indolent . Lazy
Inert . inactive; lacking power to move
Ingenuous . naive and trusting; young; unsophisticated
Inherent . firmly established by nature or habit
Innocuous . Harmless
Insensible . unconscious; unresponsive
Insinuate . hint; imply; creep in
Insipid . lacking in flavor; dull
Insularity . narrow-mindedness; isolation
Intractable . unruly; stubborn; unyielding
Intransigence . n. refusal of any compromise; stubbornness
Inundate . overwhelm; flood; submerge
Inured . adj. accustomed; hardened
Invective . n. abuse
Irascible . irritable; easily angered
Irresolute . uncertain how to act; weak
Itinerary . plan of a trip

Laconic . brief and to the point
Lassitude . languor; weariness
Latent . potential but undeveloped; dormant; hidden
Laud . v. praise
Lethargic . drowsy; dull
Levee . stone embankment to prevent flooding
Levity . lack of seriousness or steadiness; frivolity
Log . record of a voyage or flight; record of day-to-day activities
Loquacious . talkative
Lucid . easily understood; clear; intelligible
Luminous shining; issuing light

Magnanimity . Generosity
Malingerer . one who feigns illness to escape duty
Malleable . capable of being shaped by pounding; impressionable
Maverick . rebel; nonconformist
Mendacious . lying; habitually dishonest
Metamorphosis . change of form
Meticulous . excessively careful; painstaking; scrupulous
Misanthrope . one who hates mankind
Mitigate . appease; moderate
Mollify . soothe
Morose . ill-humored; sullen; melancholy
Mundane . worldly as opposed to spiritual; everyday

Negate . cancel out; nullify; deny
Neophyte . recent convert; beginner

Obdurate . adj. stubborn
Obsequious . lavishly attentive; servile; sycophantic
Obviate . make unnecessary; get rid of
Occlude . shut; close
Officious . meddlesome; excessively pushy in offering one’s services
Onerous . burdensome
Opprobrium . infamy; vilification
Oscillate . vibrate; waver
Ostentatious . showy; pretentious; trying to attract attention

Paragon . model of perfection
Partisan . one-sided; prejudiced; committed to a party
Pathological . pertaining to disease
Paucity . Scarcity
Pedantic . showing off learning; bookish
Penchant . strong inclination; liking
Penury . severe poverty; stinginess
Perennial . something long-lasting
Perfidious . treacherous; disloyal
Perfunctory . superficial; not thorough; lacking interest, care, or enthusiasm
Permeable . penetrable; porous; allowing liquids or gas to pass through
Pervasive . spread throughout
Phlegmatic . calm; not easily disturbed
Piety . devoutness; reverence for God
Placate . pacify; conciliate
Plasticity . ability to be molded
Platitude . n. trite remark; commonplace statement
Plethora . excess; overabundance
Plummet . fall sharply
Porous . full of pores; like a sieve
Pragmatic . practical (as opposed to idealistic); concerned with the practical worth or impact of something
Preamble . introductory statement
Precarious . uncertain; risky
Precipitate . adj. rash, premature, hasty, sudden
Precursor . forerunner
Presumptuous . arrogant; taking liberties
Prevaricate . lie
Pristine . characteristic of earlier times; primitive; unspoiled
Probity . uprightness; incorruptibility
Problematic . doubtful; unsettled; questionable; perplexing
Prodigal . wasteful; reckless with money
Profound . deep; not superficial; complete
Prohibitive . tending to prevent the purchase or use of something; inclined to prevent or forbid
Proliferate . grow rapidly; spread; multiply
Propensity . natural inclination
Propitiate . appease
Propriety . fitness; correct conduct
Proscribe . ostracize; banish; outlaw
Pungent . stinging; sharp in taste or smell; caustic

Qualified . limited; restricted
Quibble . minor objection or complaint
Quiescent . at rest; dormant; temporarily inactive

Rarefied . made less dense (of a gas)
Recalcitrant . obstinately stubborn; determined to resist authority; unruly
Recant . disclaim or disavow; retract a previous statement; openly confess error
Recluse . hermit; loner
Recondite . abstruse; profound; secret
Refractory . stubborn; unmanageable
Refute . disprove
Relegate banish to an inferior position; delegate; assign
Reproach . express disapproval or disappointment
Reprobate . person hardened in sin; devoid of a sense of decency
Repudiate . disown; disavow
Rescind . cancel
Resolution . Determination
Resolve . determination; firmness of purpose
Reticent . reserved; uncommunicative; inclined to silence
Reverent . respectful; worshipful

Sage . person celebrated for wisdom
Salubrious . healthful
Sanction . approve; ratify
Satiate . satisfy fully
Saturate . soak thoroughly
Savor . enjoy; have a distinctive flavor, smell, or quality
Secrete . hide away or cache; produce and release a substance into an organism
Shard . fragment, generally of pottery
Skeptic . doubter; person who suspends judgment until having examined evidence supporting a point of view
Solicitous . worried; concerned
Soporific . sleep-causing; marked by sleepiness
Specious . seemingly reasonable but incorrect; misleading (often intentionally)
Spectrum . colored band produced when a beam of light passes through a prism
Sporadic . occurring irregularly
Stigma . token of disgrace; brand
Stint . v. be thrifty; set limits
Stipulate . make express conditions; specify
Stolid . dull; impassive
Striated . marked with parallel bands; grooved
Strut . pompous walk
Strut . supporting bar
Subpoena . writ summoning a witness to appear
Subside . settle down; descend; grow quiet
Substantiate . establish by evidence; verify; support
Supersede . cause to be set aside; replace; make obsolete
Supposition . hypothesis; surmise

Tacit . understood; not put into words
Tangential . peripheral; only slightly connected; digressing
Tenuous . thin; rare; slim
Tirade . extended scolding; denunciation; harangue
Torpor . lethargy; sluggishness; dormancy
Tortuous . winding; full of curves
Tractable . docile; easily managed
Transgression . violation of a law; sin
Truculence . aggressiveness; ferocity

Vacillate . waver; fluctuate
Venerate . revere
Veracious . truthful
Verbose . wordy
Viable . practical or workable
Viscous . sticky, gluey
Vituperative . adj abusive; scolding
Volatile . changeable; explosive; evaporation rapidly

Warranted . justified; authorized
Wary . very cautious
Welter . turmoil; bewildering jumble
Whimsical . capricious; fanciful

Zealot . fanatic; person who shows excessive zeal

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Word Index